So many parents start out with very strong feelings about how much time their kids will spend playing on the iPad and watching TV. They plan on strict limits and constructive activities instead of zoning out on Bubble Guppies. No screens until age two and even then, only educational programming. No phones, no tablets, no mirrors — no kidding. They uphold these ideals in a smug sort of way.
Then, they have kids.
And they want to take a poop or a phone call or a deep breath or a bite of a stale bagel they’ve been trying to eat all morning without a tiny voice asking, “why?” TV and screens are handy parenting tools, whether we want to admit it or not. They hypnotize our kids so we can take a break and get things done. And the funny parents of Twitter totally get it. Check out these hilarious tweets about TV, screens and why we can’t imagine parenting without them.
1. When it comes to Caillou, show no mercy.
Told my son the new season of Caillou just came out and turned on Poltergeist and now I never have to watch Caillou again.
— The Glad Stork (@TheGladStork) February 28, 2016
Caillou is like a demon. You exorcise him however you have to, even if it means showing your kids a movie about a literal demon to ward off their interest. THE POWER OF PBS COMPELS YOU. PLEASE CANCEL THIS SHIT.
2. Its pull is inexplicable.
What I say to my son: "Get dressed."
His interpretation: "Stand around naked watching television with one sock on."
— Sarah (est. 1975) (@est1975blog) February 3, 2015
Trying to get your kid to do anything as long as the TV is on might be one of the most futile things you’ll do as a parent. Shut it off. It’s the only way.
3. The most expensive white noise ever.
I'm glad I pay $200 a month for cable so my kids can leave the tv on as background noise while on their iPads.
— Sarcastic Mommy (@sarcasticmommy4) January 17, 2015
And god forbid you try to change the channel on them. Suddenly, their interest is piqued.
4. So. Much. Detail.
My kid can tell me all about a 24 minute episode of Paw Patrol in 76 minutes.
— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) March 20, 2016
That’s actually kind of brief. I almost turned 34 waiting for my son to explain the plot of an episode of Thomas the Train. I was 32 at the time.
5. Two years is two years too long.
Me, to all my kids before the age of 2.
"No screens allowed."
On their 2nd birthday, handing over iPad.
"This is your mother now."
— Cray at Home Ma (@cray_at_home_ma) October 23, 2015
If you follow those AAP standards for screentime, you better ignore the grown-up recommendations for how much wine a person should drink because hello, you’re going to need it.
6. A milestone worth giving shits about.
This morning, 5yo finally took the initiative & went to watch TV BY HIMSELF, w/o waking one of us to go with him.
I've never been so proud!
— Dad and Buried (@DadandBuried) March 20, 2016
I may have forgotten what age my kids were when they first sat up and walked but I can tell you exactly what day they let me sleep and turned on Netflix by themselves. Screw learning to talk. This is the milestone that elicits happy parent tears.
7. Allow us to cry you a river.
Hubs: I have the dumbest song stuck in my head.
Me (who has watched the same 4 Daniel Tiger episodes for 3 weeks): I bet you don't.
— MyMomologue (@MyMomologue) March 8, 2016
Oh, your husband has had the same Tegan and Sara tune stuck in his head for three days? Maybe sing them this to help get rid of it. IT’S DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD A LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE! *uncorks cabernet*
8. No one knows the real words anyway.
Naaaaaasowhenyaaaaaa gonna go to bed so I can driiiink a mimoooosa?
-Parent version of the Lion King theme song
— Mommy Cusses (@mommy_cusses) March 10, 2016
Part of parenting is to evolve and adapt. If all you hear is shitty kiddie TV and movie theme music, you have to make it work for you.
9. It is a literal sanity saver.
I bet insane asylums of the 1800s were mostly just full of people with too many kids and no TV to babysit them.
— Walking Outside (@WalkingOutside) April 13, 2016
Seriously. What did our pioneer parenting ancestors do when they were about to lose it? Send their kids to sit in the middle of corn fields? Make them peel apples out by a ditch? Send them round to fetch pails of water from the well? We just have to turn on Nick Jr. for a few minutes to get our shit together. Perspective. Now you have it.
10. Speaking of perspective…
"When I was a kid, we had to watch whatever was on TV at the time" is my generation's "walked to school uphill both ways."
— Amy Dillon (@amydillon) September 2, 2015
Our kids will never know how good they have it. And their kids won’t either. That’s how life goes. Doesn’t mean I don’t constantly remind my kids of my 1990s commerical break suffering.
11. Sometimes, you discover a new interest.
Kids: Can we watch a kid show?
Me: Yeah, I guess we can watch
Phineas & Ferb
Kids: No, we want to watch-
Me: Shh, Phineas & Ferb is on..
— Pete Lynch (@PJTLynch) May 28, 2015
We all have that one kid show we would watch whether our children are around or not (*ahem* We Bare Bears) and there’s no shame in it. Unless you pick Caillou. Then, be ashamed. And possibly, afraid that you’re a victim of Stockholm syndrome.
12. You’re only punishing yourself.
Took away TV privileges from my daughter as punishment so now both our afternoons are ruined.
— Kim Bongiorno (@LetMeStart) September 4, 2015
Think long and hard before taking away TV as a disciplinary measure. Not unless you are also prepared to suffer.